Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.


George Stevens


Edna Ferber (from the novel by), Fred Guiol (screen play) | 1 more credit »
4,312 ( 1,441)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Leslie Benedict
Rock Hudson ... Jordan 'Bick' Benedict Jr.
James Dean ... Jett Rink
Carroll Baker ... Luz Benedict II
Jane Withers ... Vashti Snythe
Chill Wills ... Uncle Bawley
Mercedes McCambridge ... Luz Benedict
Dennis Hopper ... Jordan Benedict III
Sal Mineo ... Angel Obregón II
Rod Taylor ... Sir David Karfrey (as Rodney Taylor)
Judith Evelyn ... Mrs. Nancy Lynnton
Earl Holliman ... 'Bob' Dace
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... Mort 'Pinky' Snythe
Paul Fix ... Dr. Horace Lynnton
Alexander Scourby ... Old Polo


Texan rancher Jordan "Bick" Benedict, Jr. (Rock Hudson) visits a Maryland farm to buy a prize horse. While there he meets and falls in love with the owner's daughter Leslie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), they are married immediately and return to his ranch. The story of their family and its rivalry with cowboy and (later oil tycoon) Jett Rink (James Dean) unfolds across two generations. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rancher | epic | texas | oil | rivalry | See All (352) »


Bick Benedict, owning so much--except the one part of Leslie's life that is no part of his...ROCK HUDSON AS BICK BENEDICT See more »


Drama | Western


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


James Dean objected to being kept waiting for his scenes. After being called to the set three days in a row without being used at all, he skipped his next call. When George Stevens objected, he argued that with the amount of preparation he did to create his character's emotional life, it was gruelling to be kept waiting that long. Although not really sympathetic to the Method Acting Dean had learned at the Actor's Studio, Stevens tried to keep him on a more reasonable schedule after that. See more »


When Jett is talking to the oil executives about "cracking Benedict", he is seen from behind with a cigarette in his mouth, but then is seen shortly after from the front with the cigarette in his hand. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Horace Lynnton: [they pull up to the Lynnton estate and stop as horses jump over the fence in front of them] There he is, there's the stallion. That's War Winds.
Bick Benedict: Beautiful.
Dr. Horace Lynnton: That's my daughter riding him, Leslie.
[turns to Bick]
Dr. Horace Lynnton: Leslie's my daughter. She's riding him.
Bick Benedict: [slyly referring to Leslie instead of the stallion] Doctor, that sure is a beautiful animal.
Dr. Horace Lynnton: Yes she, well we'll get to the hoses first thing in the morning. Right now you're coming up to the house and get ready for dinner.
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Crazy Credits

There are no cast and crew credits given at the end of the film. Just the words "The End" and a final slide for George Stevens and Warner Bros. See more »


Referenced in Memories of 'Giant' (1998) See more »


The U.S. Air Force
(1939) (uncredited)
(Originally called "The Army Air Corps")
Music by Robert Crawford
See more »

User Reviews

sprawling saga of old Texas turning into modern Texas
10 October 2019 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

This has recently played on Turner Classic Movies, and so they have been playing a short promo on the film. However, I disagree with the critics' assessment that this is a man versus woman film. Instead, this is a film about the pangs of old Texas giving birth to new Texas. Rock Hudson plays the young patriarch of a Texas ranching family, Bick Benedict, in the 1920s who goes to Maryland to buy a colt. He is instantly smitten with one of the daughters in the family (Elizabeth Taylor as Leslie) , in spite of the fact that she raises his Texas ire by saying things such as Texas was stolen from Mexico! Taylor's character is already spoken for, but she throws over her intended and she and Benedict marry on a whim.

Adjustment is hard for Leslie. The Benedict ranch is sprawling but devoid of Maryland's natural beauty. Bick's sister Luz runs the house and is not going to give that title up to some delicate East coast beauty. And when she tries to help the Mexican families that live on the ranch, she finds her husband angry with her. Ranch hand Jett Rink (James Dean in his last film role) falls madly in love with Leslie who just doesn't see it. Meanwhile Luz has always loved Jett, and that love later greatly complicates the Benedicts' lives in a very unconventional way.

Like I said, this is no man versus woman film. This is initially east coast liberal civilized values versus the rough and tumble values of what is still the Texas frontier in many ways. And it is the story of a family over 30 years as Texas changes in its values and what is important in its industry. For example, cattle ranching gives way in importance to the petroleum industry. As for changing values, Bick changes from a man who really doesn't see the Hispanics as human beings to somebody who literally takes a beating to defend the honor of one decades later.

Highly recommended as a film and as a showcase for the talents of Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean. Dean had other good showcases for his talent, but I feel Hudson and Taylor - in spite of her two Best Actress Oscars are both remembered too much for their soapy roles and not enough for their acting skills. Highly recommended.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 November 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Giant See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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